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Current Affairs

Use of word “Allah” by non-Muslims

Date: 13 March 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A Malaysian court has allowed non-Muslims of the country to use the word “Allah” to refer to god.

 

Background

A ban was imposed on use of word “Allah” by Christian publications to refer to god. Individual were arrested for violating the law.

 

Details

  • The ban on the usage of the word was first introduced in 1986. Christian churches have decided not to pursue the reason for imposition of the ban.

  • The Home Ministry had sent a warning to a Catholic newspaper, saying that its permit to publish will be removed if it does not stop the use of word “Allah” for God in its Malay-language edition. 

  • In 2009, the High Court of Kuala Lumpur revoked this ban. But the ban was upheld by the Court of Appeal in 2013. 

  • The issue has created tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims of the country. Muslims fear that Christians are crossing their limits while Christians are thinking that the country is moving towards Islamisation.

  • Malaysian Christians have been using the word “Allah” in their Malay language Bibles, publications, sermons, prayers, and hymns without much concerns or issues.